Sabella spallanzanii physical structure on soft sediment macrofaunal assemblages
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O'Brien, AL and Ross, DJ and Keough, MJ, Effects of
Sabella spallanzanii physical structure on soft sediment macrofaunal assemblages, Marine and Freshwater Research, 57, (4) pp. 363-371. ISSN 1323-1650 (2006) [Refereed Article]
Effective management of introduced species requires an understanding of their effects on native species and the processes that structure the habitat. The introduced European polychaete Sabella spallanzanii dominates epifaunal assemblages in south-eastern Australia, yet little is known about how it affects the structure of the surrounding assemblages. The present study investigated the differences between infaunal assemblages in the presence and absence of S. spallanzanii using clumps of real and mimic polychaetes. Both the real and mimic clumps had the same effect on an existing assemblage with fewer numbers of small crustaceans in the sediment under the clumps. The effects of S. spallanzanii on infaunal colonisation and larval abundances above and below the S. spallanzanii canopy were also investigated. Larval effects varied among taxa, depending on position (above and below the canopy) for bivalve larvae and presence/absence of S. spallanzanii for gastropod larvae. There was no effect of the S. spallanzanii clumps on infaunal colonisation. These results suggest that the effects of S. spallanzanii on larval abundances and colonisation may not be as significant as the effects on post-colonisation processes that structure macrofaunal assemblages in soft sediment habitats. © CSIRO 2006.
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